Frog Leg Vol au Vents with Langoustines

Credit: Didier Loire


Step 1: Sauce

Sweat the shallot slices, crushed garlic cloves and some thinly sliced button mushrooms in a cast iron pot. Add the trimmings from the frogs used for the filling. Sweat without browning too much, then deglaze with the white wine. Reduce and add the coarsely ground pepper and the parsley stems. Cover with the chicken stock and the calf’s foot jelly. Cook for 30 minutes, then infuse for 15 minutes with the parsley, and sieve through a fine-meshed chinois.

In a saucepan, reduce this stock to a glaze, and add the cream to thicken. Finish by emulsifying with the butter.

Step 2: Filling

Remove the frog legs, cutting the calves at the joints and retaining only the thighs or "hams." Bone carefully; the scraps will be used to make the sauce.

Separate the bodies and heads of the crayfish. Cook the claws in a court-bouillon with the herbs, fennel and black pepper for 2 minutes. Roast the tails in a pot for 3 minutes. When cooked, add the crushed garlic cloves and the parsley stems. Infuse for 10 minutes in the pot with a damp cloth. When cooled, shell the claws and tails.

Soak the shellfish in salted water in a dark place to remove any sand. Rinse several times.

Sweat the chopped shallot in a dab of butter in a large saucepan. Add 1 garlic clove and the bouquet garni. Add the drained clams, and deglaze with the white wine. Cover and cook until they open. Reserve the cooking juices. When cooled, remove the whiskers from the clams.

Clean the mushroom stems and cut off the bottom. Wash in a basin of clear water, and drain on a perforated sheet pan. Brown in a hot sauté pan with the chicken fat so that they give off their water. Drain again and brown in a dab of frothy butter. Season with freshly ground pepper.

Shell the shrimp tails, and brown quickly.

Shell the langoustines, removing the vein, and reserve.

Step 3: Watercress Purée

Boil the watercress in very salty water, then cool quickly in ice water to set the green color. Purée in the blender, than pass through a tamis for a very fine purée.

Step 4: Finishing and Plating

When ready to serve, sear the frogs’ legs, langoustines and shrimp in frothy butter. Deglaze with a dash of white wine. Reduce to a glaze, and add the remaining warm filling.

In a sauté pan, bind the filling with the cream sauce, and simmer for a few moments. Season with a dash of lemon juice pepper as needed.

Place the vol au vents, cooked in and shining with butter, on the serving plates. Thicken the remaining cream sauce with the watercress purée, and season generously with pepper. Serve separately in a cassolette.

This recipe was originally published in "Culinary Encyclopedia by Alain Ducasse" (Éditions Alain Ducasse). See all credits